5 roses every small garden should have for an outdoor space that is bold, beautiful, and fragrant

Add beauty to even the most compact of spaces

Climbing roses on fence
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Roses are undoubtedly a beautiful addition to an outdoor space, but if you're working with limited square footage you might wonder what the best roses for a small garden are.

While there are no restrictions to growing roses in a garden of any size, certain roses look especially gorgeous in smaller spaces and even in a container garden if we're talking really small.

'Roses can be the perfect plant for small gardens, providing a beautiful array of colour and fragrance. To maximise the impact, you want to select something with a powerful aroma, compact growth and bold colours,' says Charlotte McGrattan, nursery stock buyer at Hillier Garden Centres.

Pink roses growing in garden

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Best roses for a small garden

'When choosing roses for a small garden, it's important to consider varieties that are compact in size, disease-resistant, and preferably fragrant,' adds Nadezhda Yaneva, gardening expert at Fantastic Gardeners.

Although there are many to choose from, these are the roses recommended by experts to add to your small garden landscaping ideas.

Climbing roses attached to a frame

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1. Shrub roses

'Shrub roses are versatile and easy to care for, making them ideal for small gardens,' begins Nadezhda. 'They come in a range of sizes and forms, from compact bushes to more sprawling varieties.'

Charlotte suggests opting for a 'Nye Bevan' with its soft yellow to cream flowers, or a light pink 'Scarborough Fair', which both provide bountiful blooms without taking up too much space.

Similarly, Peter Beales Roses also suggests a 'Macmillan Nurse', which they describe as having old-fashioned, rosette-style blooms of white, borne in clusters.

2. Miniature roses

'As the name suggests, miniature roses are petite in size, making them ideal for containers or small garden spaces,' explains Nadezhda. 'Despite their small stature, they produce abundant blooms and are available in a variety of colours.'

You can consider opting for varieties such as 'Stars 'N' Stripes', 'Lavender Jewel', and 'Little Flirt'.

If you're looking to grow roses from cuttings, popping these in small containers is a great way to start.

Miniature roses growing in garden

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3. Climbing roses

If you've already gone around to planting climbing roses in your garden, you're already on the right track.

Andrew White, gardening expert at Rhino Greenhouses Direct explains, 'These roses can be trained on wires up and along walls around the house and garden and are great for vertical gardening, which is essential in smaller garden spaces.'

Some popular options for climbing roses are 'Claire Austin', 'Mary Delany', and 'Agatha Christie'.

Climbing roses on fence

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Floribunda roses

'Floribunda roses produce clusters of blooms and are generally more compact in growth compared to hybrid tea roses,' explains Nadezhda. 'They offer continuous flowering throughout the growing season and come in a wide range of colours.'

Charlotte recommends 'Absolutely Fabulous' which has beautiful butter yellow fragrant blooms, growing to a width of 60cm with 10cm flowers, with a spicy fragrance and strong flowering. Another she suggests is 'Champagne Moment', as it's incredibly fragrant with an apricot centre. These also grow to a height of 60cm, making it perfect for a narrow garden.

‘Designer Sunset’, on the other hand, is a lightly scented, semi-double patio floribunda rose of salmon-pink with blends of red, yellow and cream.

5. Ground-cover roses

Last, but not least, we've got ground-cover roses.

Nadezhda says these low-growing roses are perfect for small gardens because they spread horizontally rather than vertically. 'They provide excellent ground coverage and produce masses of flowers,' she notes.

Some of the most popular options for ground-cover roses include 'Rosa', 'Surrey', and 'Oxfordshire'.

Better yet, not only will they make your garden border ideas look pretty but ground-cover plants also help stop weeds in their tracks.

Roses and other flowers growing in garden

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Of course, this is only a drop in the ocean to all the different rose varieties you can grow to elevate the look of your small garden, but it'll hopefully act as a starting point for a bold and fragrant outdoor space you'll love for seasons long.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.